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Anne Therese Guerin (Mother Theodore)

Today is the official feast day of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, canonized on October 15, 2006. This important Indiana Saint seems to pop up in the news more and more. From the renaming of a school, to the erection of a new statue, she has graced the media more often, obviously because of her recognition as a model of the faith.

If you want to see what led up to this honor, the Criterion, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis maintains the “blog” that they published about the time of Mother Theodore’s canonization. You can view that by going here. They also featured an excellent timeline. You can view that by clicking here.

Mother Theodore’s journal, which was preserved with the help of the Indiana Historical Society was featured here in 2008. You can find it in the Wabash Valley Visions and Voices website, which also has a number of other interesting links to the general history of Indiana.

Also, on this day, another milestone in the history of the Catholic Church in Indiana, is the appointment, in 1848, of the fourth Bishop of Vincennes, the Right Rev. Jacques M. Maurice Landes d’Aussac de Saint-Palais. Known to most simply as Bishop St. Palais.

Born at LaSalvetat, France, November 15, 1811, he was ordained a priest at Paris, on May 28, 1836. He accompanied Bishop Brute on the 1836 voyage to the United States which brought many of the non-canonized saints who served in Indiana. After the sudden and untimely death of Bishop Stephen Bazin, St. Palais was named Administrator of the diocese. He was named bishop of Vincennes, on October 3, 1848. Consecrated in the cathedral at Vincennes, January 14, 1849, by Bishop Pius Miles, OP, of Nashville, assisted by Coadjutor Bishop Martin John Spalding of Louisville and Very Reverend Hippolyte Du Pontavice, vicar general of the Diocese Vincennes. Died at St. Mary-of-the-Woods, June 28, 1877. His body is interred in the Old Cathedral, Vincennes.

It is ironic that this naming of a new bishop and the celebration of the Feast of Mother Theodore coincide. After the troubles of the Bishop Hailandiere era and his subsequent resignation, hope sprang forth with the naming of Bishop Bazin, who came to Indiana from Mobile, Alabama. With his death, that hope, although not lost, was subdued. When St. Palais was named bishop, that hope was renewed, no only because of St. Palais’ ties to the diocese, but also because of his close relationship and support for Mother Theodore and the Sisters of Providence.

There were, of course, other supporters as well. Frs. Corbe, Deydier and others. But, that’s another story…

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